Wild horses drinking at the river’s edge. Row upon manicured row of organic apples, pears, peaches, apricots, cherries and grapes maturing on the gentle hillsides. An inviting picnic area overlooking the treed valley bottom. An intimate sales shop with handcrafted jewellery and original art. And rack after rack of sophisticated wines made with a master’s touch.

This is Forbidden Fruit Winery, the most recent component of a pristine 52-hectare orchard, vineyard and nature preserve now celebrating 36 years of sustainable development. Owners Steve Venables and Kim Brind’Amour have dedicated their lives to responsible use of the land. Their environmental stewardship and dedication to craft has been rewarded with hundreds of awards and the honour of being voted the best winery to visit in the Interior.

Playful names like Plumiscuous, Impearfection and Crushed Innocence — often dreamt up in the hot tub after a hard day’s work — mask a very serious dedication to the vintner’s craft. The off-dry Pearsuasion, for example, is slightly smoky beneath its subtle pear and vanilla top notes. Speachless, the winery’s newly released “mystery wine,” is an extraordinary confection of lingering white peach and passionfruit flavours.

The Earth Series, which supports several conservation causes, employs only grapes — what Steve calls “the other fruit.” For something truly different, try the Sauvidal, a crisp, intriguing blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Vidal.

Stop by for wine tastings and off-sale fruit sales all summer long. Like the flavours of these gorgeous wines, you’ll find yourself lingering.

~ Barry Potyondi